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Natural Capital

Natural Capital

The Earth’s soils, rocks, air, water, plants and animals are all valuable resources that provide a wide range of services and benefits. These resources need to be carefully managed and maintained to support a healthy functioning environment. In this Natural Capital podcast series, hosted by Rachel Smillie we will explore different natural capital assets and their value to Scottish agriculture and the rural economy, including the opportunities and risks for the future.

Hosted by Rachel Smillie, produced by Iain Boyd, edited by Ross Mackenzie and Kieron Sim, executive producer Kerry Hammond.


Latest Episode:

In our final episode of the series we are discussing the important financial topics which cover most natural capital projects, including ecosystem markets and green commerce. We discuss potential funding and revenue options for natural capital, and importantly what are the risks and future opportunities for agriculture and landowners in Scotland.  Read more >>

Previous Episodes:

This time we are focussing on Arable Natural Capital with John and Louise Seed from Woodend Farming Partnership and Agricultural Consultant Mary-Jane Lawrie, to find out what they are doing on farm and to learn from their combined experiences. Woodend Farming Partnership focusses on arable crops, free-range egg production, renewable energy and conservation, where they take a progressive, evidence-based approach to farming that enhances biodiversity, reduces the farm carbon footprint whilst maintaining or even improving profitability.  Read more >>

In this water episode of our Natural Capital Series, we discuss seaweed and its wider benefits to the farming community, it’s important ecosystem services and the various uses for seaweed products. We are joined by Rhianna Rees, Seaweed Academy Coordinator at SAMS Enterprise, who is passionate about the growth and expansion of the seaweed industry and its role in a rapidly developing blue economy, and Fiona Salter, a Senior Environmental Consultant at SAC Consulting, who focuses on the improvement of natural capital and ecosystem services in the rural environment. Read more >>


In episode three of this Natural Capital Series, we are joined by Dr Emily Taylor to explore the very relevant and important topic of peatlands. Peatlands are a key part of the Scottish landscape covering over 20% of the land. Healthy peatlands are valuable carbon stores and provide many ecosystem services and benefits to people and nature. We discuss the importance and value of this natural capital resource, the various work that is ongoing to protect and restore peatland and what land managers can do to look after it. Read More >>

In episode two of this Natural Capital Series we discuss and raise the awareness about Scotland’s Rainforests.  What are Scotland’s rainforests, why are they special, what are the threats and how do we look after them? Recorded on site at Taynish National Nature Reserve with Helen Bibby Senior Conservation Consultant SAC Consulting and Stan Phillips from NatureScot. Read More >>

In our premier episode, we are joined by Dr Hannah Rudman who is co-director of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre at SRUC. Her work focuses on how digital and data innovations can help the natural economy sector address the Grand Challenges of climate change, food safety and security and loss of biodiversity. Read More >>

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